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  • ugly welds

    Hi you guys. I read some of the posts concerning weld prep and appearance and tried a couple of the suggestions first before asking some questions of my own. Just for background, I have many years of gas welding and stick welding experience but hardly any with a Mig welder. I recently bought a Hobart Handler 135 and although I like it, I can't figure out why my welds on angle iron look so ugly. I can weld on mild steel (1/8th inch) and my welds have evenly spaced ripples and look much like my stick welds. I read the post about removing mill scale by grinding to shiny metal on angle iron and thought if I did that, then my welds would look as good as the ones I have made stick welding. Funny thing is that on mild steel scraps from work that I brought home to practice on, the welds look half way decent but on clean, non rusty and ground off angle iron they don't have a nice bead. Like I said, I tried making sure the metal was clean and ground off the mill scale to shiny metal and it's also 1/8th inch angle iron so I am running a 3 on the voltage (4 being the highest) and a wire speed of 30, same as I ran on the mild steel scraps. Any idea why the difference in the outcome? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Also, I am using .030 flux core wire. I will get a bottle of Argon/Co2 mix in the near future and run solid core wire so would that make a big difference? I figured I'd learn how to use the welder with the flux core wire and then go to Mig. Thanks again, Tim.

  • #2
    Welcome!

    I am pretty sure you also have a polarity change going from flux core to solid. There should be a big decal inside the wire feed cover to show this and all the other settings.

    Bob

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    • #3
      polarity change

      The polarity is properly set on the welder as per the decal inside the cabinet for flux core wire, so that's not the problem.

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      • #4
        Tim, I would suggest using .035" ER71T-11 wire, and use the pull or drag technique:

        -->.......weld-->....../

        In the above sketch, the ( / ) is the torch.

        Here's one I did tonight, with .035" ER71T-11. This is just some scrap I was messing with, and the fillet is using the pull technique.

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        • #5
          .035 wire

          Rocky, I looked at your welds on the scrap. Nice. I welded some on scrap and although they are nowhere near as nice, they aren't bad at all. I will post a picture for you to comment on soon. I see Hobart's wire is .035 E71TGS. Is that the same wire you recommend? Do you think I will get better results on angle iron if I go to solid wire and shielding gas? I only seem to get funky beads on the angle iron and not mild steel like you have in the picture you included with your post. I do use the drag technique with flux core wire as that's what the owner's manual recommends and I don't have an Argon bottle yet.
          Last edited by Tim135; 12-12-2002, 12:56 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: .035 wire

            Originally posted by Tim135
            Rocky, I looked at your welds on the scrap. Nice. I welded some on scrap and although they are nowhere near as nice, they aren't bad at all. I will post a picture for you to comment on soon. Is that .035 wire flux core? Do you think I will get better results on angle iron if I go to solid wire and shielding gas? I only seem to get funky beads on the angle iron and not mild steel like you have in the picture you included with your post. I do use the drag technique with flux core wire as that's what the owner's manual recommends and I don't have an Argon bottle yet.
            Yeah, it's flux core. Using gas and solid wire makes a cleaner weld, and you can see it better. But then you have to worry about gas pressure and wind blowing your gas away. Seems there is a trade off for everything.

            If you can get good welds with FCAW, then you will get excellent welds with GMAW. It just depends on how much you want to challenge yourself. If you do decide to go with the gas, don't forget to change the polarity of the machine.

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            • #7
              FCAW

              You know, I think I prefer to challenge myself and work with the FCAW for a while. Have you run into the same problems working with angle iron? Not being a metallurgist , don't know what the difference is but with regular steel I always have nicer looking welds. Why is that? Thanks for your help by the way and I will take a couple of digital pix and have you tell me what you think, Tim.

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              • #8
                Just a quick thing to try. Are sure the angle is mild steel and not galvanized? How about what welding angle are you welding the angle iron?(did that make sense..lol) If it is a different angle than you were welding on the scrap, than try to duplicate the scrap welding angle..ie. compare apples to apples. Welding characteristics in the flat position are different than say vertical, horizontal etc. If the metal is both mild steel but just a different shape the welding characteristics should be the same as long as you are welding in the same position. Practice and you will figure out what is happening.

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                • #9
                  Your opinion please....

                  Ok, here's a few practice welds. A couple on angle iron and 3 more in succession on some mild steel scrap. The ones on the scrap got a little better each time I tried but the angle iron ones are disappointing. The bead kind of lays there on the agnle iron with no evidence of ripples. Tell me what you think and I would not recommend showing these welds to small children, they may be too traumatized to consider ever welding anything when they grow up.

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                  • #10
                    more images

                    angle iron welds

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                    • #11
                      angle iron weld

                      a short angle iron weld bead

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                      • #12
                        fillet weld on mild steel

                        fillet weld on mild steel

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                        • #13
                          one more fillet weld

                          another fillet weld on 1/8th in mild steel

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                          • #14
                            Re: one more fillet weld

                            Originally posted by Tim135
                            another fillet weld on 1/8th in mild steel
                            I know you are trying.....and you're very brave to share your accomplishments, which tells me you really want to learn. That's a good thing...so that being said, I would suggest you get a lighter lens in your helmet, then draw lines on the angle where you think the edge of the weld should be, with soapstone, so you can see them well, and practice more using the lines as a guide.

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                            • #15
                              fillet welds

                              It's ok, you can be quite frank if you would because I won't learn quite what I'm doing wrong if no one tells me. Look at any of the fillet welds and tell me what you think of the speed of travel, bead, etc. I have an auto darkening helmet I bought for stick welding about 3 years ago and it's got a #10 lens, so I guess I will have to get a #9 lens for my old helmet and give that a try. The adjustable range auto darkening helmet would be nice, but then I'm stuck with a fixed shade one too. Can't afford that. If there weren't so much smoke from the flux core wire, I could probably see the welds better. Could I use a small fan on my welding table to blow that smoke away or does the smoke from the flux help shield the weld?

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